Honors Program Overview
The primary goal of the Honors Program is to enrich the educational experience of academically talented, intellectually curious students.
The Honors Program achieves this goal through specialized courses and other learning opportunities which often include exploratory learning, interdisciplinary themes, collaborative activities, primary research and hands-on projects.
The Honors Program also seeks to enhance opportunities for students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities and to provide special recognition for students with high academic achievement.
Honors Program Mission Statement
The mission of RACC's Honors Program is to provide academically challenging experiences for high ability, intellectually curious students and to promote exploratory learning, collaborative projects, inter-disciplinary themes, primary research and hands-on projects.
Honors Program Goals
The goals of the Honors Program are:
- to provide an enriched learning experience for academically talented, intellectually curious students.
- to provide special recognition for outstanding students of high academic ability.
- to enhance opportunities for academically talented students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities.
- to promote the College as a place where superior scholarship by students and faculty is encouraged and honored.
- to foster curricular and instructional innovation throughout the institution.
- to enhance and facilitate the recruitment and retention of students and faculty.
To become eligible for the Honors Program, a student must meet one of the following criteria:
New Students need to meet one of the following criteria:
- RACC placement tests scores of COM 122; or COM 121 with Reading score of 90+; or placement score of MAT 150 with Reading score of 90+
- Graduation in the top 10% of high school class
- A combined SAT score of 1100 (2 part) or 1650 (3 part) or higher
Currently enrolled students need to meet one of the following criteria:
- A 3.25 GPA or higher, excluding developmental courses, with a minimum of 8 credits in college-level courses
- Recommendation of instructor (unless another criterion is fulfilled, admission would be for a single course)
- Special talent or ability in the area of a particular honors course (unless another criterion is fulfilled, admission would be for a single course)
Earning Honors Credit
Students have three ways to earn honors credit:
- Honors Courses - Students can enroll in honors courses. Some are honors versions of general education courses. Others are seminars, often interdisciplinary, on various topics.
Currently available courses include the following:
ANT 200 - Intercultural Communication (Honors)
ANT 255 - Interpreting Lives: Rites of Passage, Personal History, and the Life Cycle (Honors)
ANT 285 - Ethnographic Research (Honors)
COM 122 - English Composition (Honors)
COM 132 - Composition & Literature: Texts and Contexts (Honors)
COM 152 - Fundamentals of Speech (Honors)
ENV 131 - The Environment (Honors)
HON 101 - Introduction to College Studies (Honors)
PHI 276 - Ethics (Honors)
HUM 281 - Leadership Development Studies (Honors)
MAT 151 - Foundations of Math (Honors)
PSY 131 - General Psychology (Honors)
SOC 131 - Sociology (Honors)
A schedule of which courses are available in each semester can be found here. For additional information, see individual course descriptions.
- Honors Contracts - Students can enroll in a standard RACC course and arrange with the instructor to complete additional or different work. Honors contracts are subject to the willingness of individual instructors to participate and to the approval of the appropriate Assistant Dean and the Honors Committee. A maximum of 8 contract hours may be applied toward an Honors Certificate or Honors Diploma.
- Independent Study - A student can earn one to four honors credits for a project proposed and carried out under the direction of a faculty mentor. A project may involve in-depth research, creative works, internships, and/or three-dimensional projects. The time invested in an independent study project will be similar to the time required for a course of comparable credit. Independent Study is subject to the willingness of individual instructors to participate and to the approval of the appropriate Assistant Dean, the Honors Committee, and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost. A maximum of 6 independent study credits may be applied toward an Honors Certificate or Diploma.
Students who complete 15 honors credits with an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher and a 3.0 or higher in all honors courses will earn an Honors Certificate. When they graduate from RACC, these students will receive an Honors Diploma. Honors Certificates will be presented at the spring Academic Awards event. Honors Diplomas and a medallion will be presented at the graduation ceremony.
Taking Honors courses at RACC offers many benefits:
- Academic challenge
- Personal enrichment
- Small classes with other academically motivated students
- More individual attention from instructors and faculty mentors
- A competitive edge when applying for jobs or transferring to four-year colleges and universities
- Honors designations on transcripts
- Special commendation as an Honors Graduate
- Increased opportunities for scholarships
- Honors Program scholarships
- Free admission for two events at the Miller Center for the Arts with student ID.
Honors Scholars Award - The Honors Scholars Award was created to encourage academically accomplished 2014 high school graduates to enroll full-time in the Honors Program at Reading Area Community College. This scholarship will cover full-time tuition, fees and books (up to $5,500 per year) not covered by grants or outside funding other than loans. A limited number of scholarships are available. If you are selected as a recipient, you could have a debt-free start to your education.
- Students must be 2014 high school graduates.
- Students must qualify for the Honors Program either by placement test scores or SAT scores. Placement testing is located in Berks Hall room 153.
- Students must commit to taking an Honors class each semester they are enrolled, starting with the Fall 2014 semester.
- Students must enroll full-time each semester (12 credits or more).
- Continued eligibility requires a student to maintain an Honors GPA of 3.25 or higher.
Samuel and Sonia Briskin Scholarship - Each year the Honors Program will recognize an outstanding new student studying in the Honors Program, based on the recommendation of Honors faculty, to encourage further participation in the Honors Program.
Honors Program Scholarship - Each year the Honors Program recognizes outstanding students enrolled in the Honors Program at Reading Area Community College and awards scholarships based on their past commitment to the Honors Program. Eligible students must have completed six honors credits, maintain a 3.25 GPA (excluding developmental courses), have a B or higher in all honors courses and fill out an application for consideration. Previous recipients of the Honors Program Scholarship may reapply after they have completed six additional honors credits.
Sonia M. Briskin Scholars Award - Each year the Honors Program recognizes one student at the annual Academic Awards Ceremony. The eligible student must have completed three or more honors courses, achieved a GPA of 3.75 or higher, provided outstanding service to the RACC community and demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities. This student is awarded a cash stipend as well as a custom-designed certificate while being honored at the ceremony.
Applications for each of these scholarships will be available each year in December to be awarded for the spring semester. In addition, many scholarships will give merit to honor students in the selection processes. View scholarship information and applications on our website.
For additional information, contact Dr. Donna Singleton, Honors Program Coordinator at 610-372-4721, ext. 5096.